nep-cdm New Economics Papers
on Collective Decision-Making
Issue of 2023‒09‒25
six papers chosen by
Stan C. Weeber, McNeese State University

  1. A comment on Campaign Contributions and Roll-Call Voting by Grier, Grier and Mkrtchian (2023) By He, Harry; Petrovičová, Tereza
  2. Learning from the Origins By Yarkin, Alexander
  3. Is participatory democracy in line with social protest? Evidence from the French Yellow Vests movement By Benjamin Monnery; François-Charles Wolff
  4. SRM on the Table: The Role of Geoengineering for the Stability and Effectiveness of Climate Coalitions By Emmerling, Johannes; Tavoni, Massimo; Pezzoli, Perguiseppe
  5. Interrogating the political economy of age By Alexander Shaw, Kate
  6. Metawisdom of the Crowd: How Choice Within Aided Decision Making Can Make Crowd Wisdom Robust By Jon Atwell; Marlon Twyman II

  1. By: He, Harry; Petrovičová, Tereza
    Abstract: In their study, Grier et al. (2023) explore the causal relationship between campaign contributions and roll-call voting. Their analysis focuses on the influence of campaign contributions on two specific anti-sugar votes conducted in 2013 and 2018. The authors identify a substantial increase in inflationadjusted sugar contributions from the sugar industry to incumbent politicians between these two voting events. The aim of our research is to replicate and validate the authors' main models. In addition to cross-platform replication, we conduct several robustness checks to further examine the reliability of their findings. These include (1) clustering the standard errors, (2) utilizing an Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) model instead of the authors' logistic regression, and (3) altering the dependent variable to represent the change in the vote from 2013 to 2018. Our results largely confirm the authors' findings and reveal additional insights regarding the money buys vote hypothesis.
    Date: 2023
  2. By: Yarkin, Alexander
    Abstract: How do political preferences and voting behaviors respond to information coming from abroad? Focusing on the international migration network, I document that opinion changes at the origins spill over to 1st- and 2nd-generation immigrants abroad. Local diasporas, social media, and family ties to the origins facilitate the transmission, while social integration at destination weakens it. Using the variation in the magnitude, timing, and type of origin-country exposure to the European Refugee Crisis of 2015, I show that salient events trigger learning from the origins. Welcoming asylum policies at the origins decrease opposition to non-Europeans and far-right voting abroad. Transitory refugee flows through the origins send abroad the backlash. Data from Google Trends and Facebook suggests elevated attention to events at the origins and communication with like-minded groups as mechanisms. Similar spillovers following the passage of same-sex marriage laws show the phenomenon generalizes beyond refugee attitudes.
    Keywords: Immigration, Social Networks, Spillovers, Political Attitudes, Integration
    JEL: O15 Z13 D72 D83 P00 J61 F22
    Date: 2023
  3. By: Benjamin Monnery; François-Charles Wolff
    Abstract: Participatory democracy and public consultations are increasingly being used to shape public policy or resolve political issues. In France, the Grand Débat was launched in early 2019 as a democratic response to the Yellow Vests movement, a massive grassroots social protest. With more than 500, 000 participants, the Grand Débat platform was interpreted as a popular success by the government and the media, but little is known about which citizens expressed their opinions online. Although participants on the platform were anonymous and only answered public policy questions, we are able to infer their support for the Yellow Vests movement by using a second platform (a Facebook app) that asks similar questions as well as support for the Yellow Vests. We find that a large majority of participants in the Grand Débat did not support the Yellow Vests movement, in contrast to the general population at the time. This is evidence of a strong self-selection of participants on political grounds, resulting in a biased representation of French public opinion.
    Keywords: participatory democracy; social protest; public opinion; selection on observables and unobservables
    JEL: D71 D72 C53
    Date: 2023
  4. By: Emmerling, Johannes; Tavoni, Massimo; Pezzoli, Perguiseppe
    Abstract: Geoengineering, including solar radiation management (SRM) has received increasing scrutiny due to the rise of climate extremes and slow progress in mitigating global carbon emissions. This climate policy option, even as a possibility, can have consequential implications for international climate governance. Here we study how solar engineering affects the effectiveness and stability of a large set of regional coalitions through numerical simulations. We posit a requirement in terms of global political or economic power and analyze the exclusive membership coalition formation process when coalitions jointly decide on geoengineering and mitigation. We show that geoengineering can provide incentives for cooperation and partially solve the typical trade-off between stability and effectiveness of climate coalitions. However, temperature reduction mostly comes from deploying SRM within the coalition rather than from further emission reductions, thus exposing the world to relatively large-scale deployment of SRM with as of today uncertain potential side effects and risks.
    Date: 2023–08–22
  5. By: Alexander Shaw, Kate
    Abstract: This article considers the argument by Tim Vlandas, in this issue, that an ageing electorate may undermine democracies’ ability to make the right economic choices. Vlandas suggests that the emergence of gerontocratic politics may give rise to ‘gerontonomia’: an economy run for the old, at the expense of younger generations and of future prosperity. However, evidence from the UK suggests a more mixed picture. Age-based voting patterns have been consequential around single issues, not least the 2016 Brexit referendum. However, voters’ interests in broad economic policy models are not easily reducible to age dynamics, and intergenerational politics are filtered through a set of normative and affective considerations beyond straightforward self-interest. Moreover, since the rational interests of different age groups do not speak for themselves, cueing by political elites is potentially significant and may be contributing to older voters’ relative tolerance of a poor economic record.
    Keywords: ageing populations; gerontocracy; intergenerational fairness; political economy; UK politics; Wiley deal
    JEL: J1
    Date: 2023–08–18
  6. By: Jon Atwell; Marlon Twyman II
    Abstract: Quality information can improve individual judgments but nonetheless fail to make group decisions more accurate; if individuals choose to attend to the same information in the same way, the predictive diversity that enables crowd wisdom may be lost. Decision support systems, from business intelligence software to public search engines, present individuals with decision aids -- discrete presentations of relevant information, interpretative frames, or heuristics -- to enhance the quality and speed of decision making, but have the potential to bias judgments through the selective presentation of information and interpretative frames. We redescribe the wisdom of the crowd as often having two decisions, the choice of decision aids and then the primary decision. We then define \emph{metawisdom of the crowd} as any pattern by which the collective choice of aids leads to higher crowd accuracy than randomized assignment to the same aids, a comparison that accounts for the information content of the aids. While choice is ultimately constrained by the setting, in two experiments -- the prediction of inflation (N=947, pre-registered) and a tightly controlled estimation game (N=1198) -- we find strong evidence of metawisdom. It comes about through diverse errors arising through the use of diverse aids, not through widespread use of the aids that induce the most accurate estimates. Thus the microfoundations of crowd wisdom appear in the first choice, suggesting crowd wisdom can be robust in information choice problems. Given the implications for collective decision making, more research on the nature and use of decision aids is needed.
    Date: 2023–08

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